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I received a copy of this audiobook for free from Jess at Audio Bookworm  for an honest review as part of  a blog tour.

Audiobook Title: Omari and the People

Author: Stephen Whitfield

Narrator: Curt Simmons

Publisher: Shirley Castle Press

Length: 11 hours and 17 minutes (unabridged)

Audio Release Date: June 20, 2016


In a squalid ancient city on the edge of a desert (based in part on the Empty Quarter in Arabia) a weary, thrill-seeking thief named Omari sets his home afire to start anew and to cover his many crimes. When the entire city is unintentionally destroyed by the flames, the cornered thief tells the displaced people a lie about a better place which only he can lead them to, across the desert. With the help of an aged, mysterious woman who knows a better place actually does exist, they set out. The disparate people must come together to fight their way through bandits, storms, epidemics, and more. As a result of Omari’s involvement with Saba, a fiercely independent woman who is out to break him in the pay of a merchant whom he has offended, his ability to lead his life and the success of the caravan – is jeopardized.



You know what I love most about reading? It’s that moment when you realise you’ve utterly transcended the page and find yourself experiencing another world. Author Stephen Whitfield and narrator Curt Simmons have combined their exceptional talents to create vivid settings and deeply raw characters that make Omari and the People a rare find.

While the world building in this book is phenomenal, at its core Omari and the People is a story about the characters.

Omari is a lost soul with a good heart and a talent for thievery. An argument with his wife sees him having to destroy evidence of his frequent missteps and in his haste, he accidentally set a fire: first to his house and then to the city. Racked with guilt and knowing he still needs to flee the city to escape some guards, he tells people an elaborate lie about an idyllic land beyond the desert. Knowing he can’t survive for prolonged time in the desert alone, Omari and a band of misfits embark on what becomes a spirited adventure for these characters and for the reader.

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Omari and the People is reminiscent of some of my favourite books. With great world building and well developed characters coupled with narrator Curt Simmons ability to create tension and atmosphere flawlessly, I couldn’t recommend checking out the audiobook enough.

Still not sure if it is for you? Try giving this audio excerpt a listen.

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Author: Stephen Whitfield

Authors PhotoChicago-born Stephen Whitfield began writing as a Marine Corps print journalist. His writing has appeared in military publications, as well as the Kansas City Star and the Jersey Journal. He holds degrees from from Loyola University Chicago, Chicago Theological Seminary, and Indiana University. His various adventures have taken him to such places as London, Paris, Trondheim, Johannesburg, Beirut, most of The Virgin Islands and the wilder neighborhoods of Chicago.


Narrator: Curt Simmons

VHtvAVmK Curt lives in Seattle and produces and narrates audiobooks in his home studio. He began his performing career in college as a stage actor and radio personality. After college, in addition to acting, Curt also did voiceovers for commercials, which he also wrote, directed, and edited for broadcast TV. Following the birth of his daughter in 1984, he left the performing arts to pursue a more “stable” profession managing projects. Then, in 2014 he returned to the professional stage for the first time in over 30 years as Walter Flood in Becky’s New Car by Stephen Dietz. He has also appeared recently as Lyman in Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz and Ralph in The Last Romance by Joseph DiPietro. Omari and the People is Curt’s sixth audiobook.



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